08-09

Be Seeing You – by Olivander, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Review of the year/resolutions time. 2008 was a mixed year, which is pretty much a description for most years, I would guess, given the length of time that makes each one. Nevertheless, as part of one of my resolutions which I’ll discuss later, forgive the slightly self-indulgent ramblings within this review of the year post…

Highlights of 2008

  • New flat – in April I finally moved into a place of my own. Far enough away from parents to do my own thing, but close enough so that I can still go round for meals and washing (only semi-joking!). It’s one of the things that we get used to and take for granted, but given how frustrating it was getting waiting for the whole thing to get sorted out, actually moving in, and being here now, is a major step.
  • New job – another thing that is linked to one of the Lowlights, unfortunately, but again, worth it after everything. When I was in the pre-GCSE year at school we had to write a page describing ourselves and our futures. In that, I mentioned that one day I would like to work for the Beeb. I’m really happy that after two years of being so close, and yet not quite being in there, it’s all fallen into place. But just as I had planned my place of work back then, there’s still a lot more I want to do, and hopefully 2009 is where it will all start kicking off.
  • Doctor Who – Yes, I know I go on about it constantly, but the 2008 series was probably the best since the show returned in 2005. A couple of middling episodes, of course, but when the average episode is so ruddy good, the special episodes are amazing. Stand-out moments that left me with a huge grin on my face – the final moments of the first episode, Partners in Crime; the sheer madness and twisted imagination of Steven Moffat’s Silence in the LIbrary/Forest of the Dead; the sublime RTD penned Midnight; the final moments of Turn Left; and the vast majority of the season finale. David Tennant was of course, very good, but it’s fascinating to wonder what’s going to be next – and with Moffat in charge, we’re in good hands. As an aside, it’s probably no coincidence therefore that RTD’s book ‘The Writer’s Tale’, wins my award for the most inspirational book I’ve read for a long time…
  • The Collins and Herring Podcast – Like most people, I guess, I can’t remember exactly what got me into them. I think I started from the beginning, I don’t know how, but now I’m addicted. Of course the quality varies wildly from episode to episode, but that’s because it’s not trying to be anything more than it is: two blokes sitting in a loft in Shepherd’s Bush, discussing the week’s events, insulting each other, and looking things up on Wikipedia. Brilliant stuff.
  • Then there’s also the standard things, like comedy and music. I can’t be bothered at this precise moment to give an exhaustive list of my favourites of the year, but this was the year that I discovered Green Wing, loved Screenwipe, the IT Crowd and Peep Show; on the music front, Bloc Party, MGMT, Cut Copy, James Yuill, The Last Shadow Puppets, Black Kids and Pocket Satellite. The latter being a band involving a friend, so I’m excited to see what the new year holds for them.

Lowlights of 2008

  • Job issues – Obviously not going to go into much detail here, but there moments during the year where I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do come the end of October, and even what I could be doing during the summer, when it almost threatened to derail my birthday weekend. But luckily it all got sorted in a flash in the end, and I just hope that the economic climate doesn’t have too much of an impact in the near future.
  • Delays on the flat – The original plan was to have been moved in by the end of January 2008. That never happened, and as the year went on, with no final confirmed moving in date, the frustration grew. But again, in the end, it was all sorted out – I just wish it could have been sooner.
  • Smashing my iPod – Something a little less serious – the dangers of having a hard floor – a simple slip of the hand, and the hard disk was shattered. Let’s hope that the latest incarnation lasts more than a month into the new year…
  • Not writing/blogging/practicing/performing enough – Given the two main lowlights, which took up the majority of the year, my efforts to break into the world of stand-up, writing, blogging and even learning the guitar, all reached a sticky end – basically because I didn’t practice enough, and didn’t really have my heart fully committed. Hence…

Resolutions for 2009

  • Blog more – I’ve always been terrible with diaries, but hopefully I can take a leaf out of Richard Herring’s ‘Warming Up’, and blog more often. I think the next two resolutions will help on this as well…
  • Learn more and contribute to the Semantic Web – as per my last post, I hope that I can make a real contribution to the efforts of the Sem Web community this year. I’ll be continuing my experiments and learning with fictional content modelling, and with great and inspiring people at work and beyond, hopefully this will keep me writing.
  • Write more comedy material – I’d like to do more stand-up, but I still think that writing is more my main thing. I’m going to apply to City University’s Writing Comedy course, and I really want to commit myself to putting effort into script and sketch writing.
  • Make more of an effort to discover new music – I have an eMusic subscription, and consider myself to be a bit of a music fan, but looking at my Last.fm chart of the year, it seems my listening is still pretty much mainstream. I’m not a fan of those who automatically slate mainstream music – it has played an important part in my life, I’m not going to dismiss it now, but I’m keen to expand my horizons a bit more. Oh, and do what I can to support the efforts of my friends in Pocket Satellite. I’d also love to do more DJing and learn the art of mixing and mashups.
  • …and finally – having bought Wii Fit on the twisted logic that it’s cheaper than a subscription to the gym, I think it’s about time that I started to use it regularly…

Right, that’s about it. I’m off for some lunch. Happy new year, everyone!

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